Over the past few weeks, the New York Giants' offense has again struggled to run the football. In what is otherwise a lost season, head coach Tom Coughlin wants to finish the year strong, most preferably in all facets of the game. In order to do so, the Giants will have to march out their starters in a game of pride against the Washington Redskins who also have nothing to lose. There are some limited positions in which there is enough flexibility to see some young potential contributors get real game action, unless of course there is an unlikely blowout.
At defensive end, Demontre Moore could continue to see more reps and build his confidence for the 2014 campaign. On the offensive line, Dallas Reynolds, who did a surprisingly impressive job filling in at guard, limiting Detroit Lions’ stud defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh last Sunday, will get another shot to audition for more playing time either with the Giants or elsewhere next season. Then there is the running back situation, which has pretty much been a situation all season. With both Peyton Hillis and Andre Brown being listed limited participants in practice (each recovering from a concussion), rookie running back Michael Cox will be in the mix this week as the only running back currently at full strength.
Cox, a seventh-round pick out of the University of Massachusetts, entered the game last week after Andre Brown fumbled the football and was knocked out of the game with a concussion. It was the first action he had seen since October 27th against the Philadelphia Eagles where he had nine carries for 19 yards. Not exactly a stellar outing, but with the exception of a few games, the Giants haven’t been able to make too many holes for the running backs this season.
Perhaps a guts over glory type game against the Redskins could fuel the offensive line to give it their all and give Cox a shot or two to show what he can do with a little room as he was able to show what he can do after contact during last weeks overtime kick return against the Lions where he returned the ball from six yards deep in the end zone, made a move, hurdled kicker David Akers at the 35 yard line, and dragged a defender into mid field.
The play and desire to fight for yards may have caught Coughlin’s eye as he essentially assured that though Cox may not necessarily start, or even get the majority of the carries, he will be on the field as a running back on Sunday.
"Well, he’s had games where he’s shared the role on first and second down," Coughlin said. "And he certainly will have to again."
Look for the Giants to end the season playing Giants football. They will attempt to be balanced and try to execute to perfection. If the Redskins can allow it, Cox may have a chance to prove what he’s got, if anything.
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